Yonglun Luo

Targeted Genome&Epigenome Editing and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory

Our group is focusing on (1) development of targeted genome and epigenome editing technologies; (2) Stem Cell Engineering for regenerative medicine and human diseases; and (3) Animal Model Engineering for human diseases.

 

With funding supports from the Danish Research Council for Independent Research and Sapere Aude DFF- Research Talent, we endeavor to establish high efficient methods that can be used to targeted modify (deletion, mutation, or insertion), activate, silence, methylate or demethylate specific genes in the genomes. The established methods will provide a valuable toolbox for functional genomics, and therapy of human diseases such as diabetes and cancers.

 

Stem cells engineering using human embryonic stem cell lines and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is one of the most attractive tools and strategies for regenerative medicine and modeling human disease. The iPS cells-derived from patient’s own somatic cells resemble the pluripotent capacity similar to embryonic stem cells, and can give rise to disease-specific cell types in body. None invasive investigations (e.g. studying of molecular effects or drug testing) of human diseases can be well conducted using these in vitro cells.

 

Supported by Lundbeck Foundation, our group is establishing a spectrum of methods for generating iPS cells from human/porcine somatic cells, including viral or non-viral-based methods. Furthermore, we are also working on developing new reprogramming methods that can lead to higher efficiency and safety. In the aspect of regenerative medicine, we have been establishing methods to differentiate iPS cells for bone tissue engineering (a, b). Our group is also joining the efforts to derive functional pancreatic cells and cardiomyocytes from human and porcine iPSCs.

 

Animal model engineering, especially using large animal model such as pig, is another major research focus of our group. The pig has great advantages as models for human disease due it the genetic, physiologic, and anatomic similarities between pigs and humans. Our group is working on developing pig models of breast cancer  (c, d) and diabetes.  These models will be used for prognosis biomarker screening, disease treatment drug testing, investigation of disease pathology, and used as isogenic transplantation model for regenerative medicine.

 

If you are interested in conducting research year project, master or PhD project in genome editing, regenerative medicine, please send your CV to Dr. Yonglun Luo.

 

(last modified 11-09-2014)

 

a. Zou, L., Y. Luo, et al. (2013). "A simple method for deriving functional MSCs and applied for osteogenesis in 3D scaffolds." Sci Rep 3: 2243.

b. Kang, R., Y. Luo, et al. (2014). "Osteogenesis of human induced pluripotent stem cells derived mesenchymal stem cells on hydroxyapatite contained nanofibers." RSC Advances 4(11): 5734-5739.

c. Luo, Y., J. Li, et al. (2011). "High efficiency of BRCA1 knockout using rAAV-mediated gene targeting: developing a pig model for breast cancer." Transgenic Res 20(5): 975-988.

d. Luo, Y., L. Bolund, et al. (2012). "Pig gene knockout by rAAV-mediated homologous recombination: comparison of BRCA1 gene knockout efficiency in Yucatan and Gottingen fibroblasts with slightly different target sequences." Transgenic Res 21(3): 671-676.